Welsh 5k record goes as mass road racing returns
Thanks to Dai Sport's Owen Morgan for this report and images.
Charlotte Arter broke the Welsh 5K record as mass participation racing returned to the streets of Cardiff at the weekend.
The Welsh international won the elite ladies race and claimed the Welsh title in a new national record at the annual Cardiff 5K, while Newport's Abed Teweldebrhan claimed the men's Welsh title. Arter clocked 15.29 as she crossed the line first in the women's race held in front of large crowds on the streets of Whitchurch.
Although the accompanying entertainment at the hugely popular annual event was slightly scaled down due to COVID, hundreds of runners were cheered around the fast course on Sunday evening. After the race, Arter revealed that being back on the start line with so many runners and a large crowd cheering them on helped inspire her after months of sporting restrictions.
The Cardiff athlete said: "Wow! I wasn't quite expecting to run that. But do you know what, being back on the start line with so many people, the atmosphere here was pretty awesome.
"Honestly, you don't realise that some of the races we've done, there hasn't been that many people, so there was just a real buzz to be back running with so many people.
"I'm delighted to get the win and the Welsh record . . . chuffed!"
Despite the slightly scaled down supporting entertainment, there was still the traditional pre-race procession of super cars along with Merthyr singer Paul Black belting out World in Union to ramp up the atmosphere prior to the starting gun. All of which helped Arter produce her record-breaking win.
"Definitely, I really felt up for it today," she said.
"Just warming up with so many people around, the pre-race atmosphere that the guys created with the cars and the music and stuff. It just gets you a bit more like pumped for it. It was really good."
Arter, who was part of the Welsh team competing in the Inter-Area Match held within the event, was followed home by Cardiff and Wales team-mate Jenny Nesbitt.
The 2019 Cross Country Champion finished second in the overall ladies race in 15.44 to also take silver in the Welsh Championship. Third overall was Ellie Wallace, representing North Somerset, who clocked 16.16. The men's race was won by Alfie Manthorpe, of City of Sheffield and Dearne AC, who broke the tape in 14.15. The North of England athlete finished narrowly ahead of Abed Teweldebrhan, who crossed the line in 14.17. The Newport Harrier's big new personal best earned him the Welsh title ahead of Cardiff's Dan Nash, who finished third overall and second in the Welsh Championships, also clocking a new PB of 14.18.
Behind the elite races, almost 900 runners of all abilities and ages from across the length and breadth of the country completed the mass participation race.